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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

An Afronerd Radio Preview-Upcoming Interview with Black Rock Evangelist, Rob Fields and Black Enterprise's Interview with Spike Lee

I think we're going to actually be fortunate enough to have experienced back to back, fiery and informative Afronerd Radio interviews this week, folks! While taking a brisk morning "cyber" jog through The Huffington Post, I came across an excellent entry by writer and self-described Black Rock evangelist, Rob Fields. It appears that Mr. Fields has a beef with hip hop entrepreneur (and former Jay-Z business partner), Damon Dash regarding an upcoming rap/rock collaborative project entitled, Black Roc. I reached out to Mr. Fields and he is scheduled to appear on our show this Sunday to discuss this latest controversy and of course Black folks who rock. I must say that I concur with Fields' take on the naming of Dash's effort but let's take a look at an excerpt from the entry in question:

Courtesy of the Huffington Post-

How can you call something “BlakRoc” when the black folks on the project only rap and the rockers are all white?

BlakRoc is the name of Damon Dash’s upcoming project, a collaboration between white rockers The Black Keys and rappers such as Mos Def, Q-Tip, Ludacris, and Raekwon, to name a few. Ordinarily, I could care less what Damon Dash does. But in choosing this name for the project, he crossed a line: You can’t match black rappers and white rockers and call it “BlakRoc.”

No, BlakRoc has nothing to do with black rock, something I’ve spent nearly the last three years championing on my blog. The conflation of the two is offensive. There’s too much history there. It’s like he’s acknowledging the existence of black rock with his middle finger.

“BlakRoc” is a slap in the face to those of us who have been working to develop audiences for black artists who don’t fit neatly into pre-conceived categories. It’s an affront to those of us who still face apathy and dismissiveness when it comes to the place of blacks in beyond hip hop and R&B.

It’s galling, too, coming on the heels of Dash’s former partner, Jay-Z, saying bands like Grizzly Bear were going to push hip hop. Some hipsters are going to save hip hop? Great. Statements like this ignore all of the black artists who are embracing live music, forming bands, telling more substantive stories, and the audiences who are supporting black alternative music in growing numbers. That’s going to force hip hop to evolve.

So stay tuned for more information regarding Sunday's broadcast but in the interim, click on the first link to get the Fields article in its entirety and the second link for his excellent blog, Bold As Love:

Dash's BlakRoc Disses Black Rock

Bold As Love

And then there's the Spike Lee-Ed Gordon interview when the noted director appropriately splashes "haterade" on minstrel disseminator numero uno, Tyler Perry:

Why Would Anyone Want To Be Black? This is The Question Breitbart's Burt Prelutsky is Asking! We Can't Be in The 21st Century....

From an Oct. 22 post by Burt Prelutsky at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood blog:

My final question is, why, in 2009 America, are mulattoes invariably identified as blacks? Surely there is nothing wrong with being a mulatto. There is no stigma attached, as once there was. It merely refers to those who have one white parent and one black. There are many notable individuals who are mulattoes, including Halle Berry, Derek Jeter, Lisa Bonet and Barack Obama. Tiger Woods, on the other hand, is a true amalgamation, being one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai, one-quarter black, one-eighth Native American and one-eighth Dutch. And, yet, with the possible exception of the New York Yankee shortstop, we insist on identifying all of them as black.

It's as if there is something shameful about their being half or even one-eighth white. If there is, I'd sure like to know what it is. If, on the other hand, there isn't, why do we insist on acting as if there were?

The above statement was first picked up by Media Matters but I'm not sure if it is sufficiently being fleshed out by other cyber politicos. Let me first state that I am not an absolutist. I'm fully aware of the slant that Matters possesses toward liberal causes just as Fox News is equally myopic when it comes to conservative minutia. Some have even stated that belonging to either political party is an exercise in futility, hence musician, James Mtume's assertion-"left wing, right wing.....it's still the same bird!"

But I must confess that Prelutsky's racially obtuse diabtribe reminds me of a comment that was made in our last Afronerd Radio segment by urbanista, Michaela Angela Davis. To paraphrase Ms. Davis, she essentially stated that the rise of the Obamas has caused a paradigm shift and that if Black folks are still suffering from post traumatic slave syndrome, then conversely the majority culture is experiencing withdrawal symptoms from post traumatic master syndrome. Why now are some Whites attempting to parse Blackness? That train left the station eons ago. And better yet, many folks are becoming more comfortable in self-description. Let those who self-identify as being Black live their lives and for the remainder that are not comfortable in the concept of a racial designation, let them thrive as well, pending receipt of their respective wake up calls...I'm just sayin'. I've mentioned this many times in Afronerd, White supremacy does not allow for a special dispensation based on the degree of European admixture amongst people of color. I would normally go into a lengthy protestation against such ignorance by mentioning the European surnames that many African-Americans possess as well as the folly of race versus biology but I'll keep it simple...Black is Black and so is your president-stick to cogent arguments centered on policy and not race. What say you? Any thoughts? Let's hear from our readers...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What Hip Hop Used To Represent......Check Out This Freestyle Intermission Before The Next Entry....

Why doesn't present day commercial hip hop represent what the above video clip conveys? And what is being conveyed? Masterful lyricism. Watch the clip closely because you can't hear this on radio....except, perhaps Afronerd Radio. But you guys knew that. Enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Preview of Tomorrow Comic Shoppe Broadcast & The Latest Entry From Daryll B.

I will attempt to keep the length of this entry tight, succinct, cogent or any other euphemism for "simple." Join the Comic Shoppe team-Max, Daryll and yours truly tomorrow evening at 7pm eastern to bring a pulp analysis to the following topics: our thoughts on the November airing of the sci-fi redux of the 80s V; the latest Heroes and Smallville storylines; the latest in movie news regarding Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Paranormal Activity, Astro Boy and Where The Wild Things Are; Will the Lizard aka Dr. Curt Connors be the next villain for Spiderman 4?....and lastly, we will cover our favorite graphic novel reads from last week. Feel free to call up with impressions and/or questions at-646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.com

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

And while you wait for tomorrow's show, check out this intermission, courtesy of the Comic Shoppe's own, Daryll B....

Hi Afronerd Fantasy Fans! This time I don't have a long rant ready for you folks, just some quick hits for you to consider:

-From When Fangirls Attack by way of Daily Scans: Why HAS Hank Pym been continually reviled for hitting Janet Van Dyne when other more famous heroes who have hit their significant others been forgiven? Is he really considered that bad compared to everyone else? Or do we chalk this up to the Millar effect along with the thought that a Capt. America who is all about truth, justice, and the American way is considered a pansy in today's world?

-Ya know I was pretty pissed reading Justice Society of America #31 where one of the few strong black characters in comics appeared to have died. Killed mind you by a mentally possessed junior white kid hero who stabbed him 12+ times. Then I saw Heroes and what they did to Ernie Hudson. Mind you the scene looked cool thanks to Ray Park, but it keeps up the stigma that black people just can't be on or have powers on Heroes. What a croc! You know I felt then what the black characters felt in Scary Movie 2. You know the "splitting up" scene...it still rings true to this day.

-On this note I still pissed that they hired LeVar Burton on to do the voice of Black Lightning for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Then proceeded to give him only one line! I guess I should be happy at least they didn't turn him into one of the strongest wimps on the planet (Power Girl) or play up their fan-fiction romance (Supes and Bats of course). And I'd be remiss to say it took me awhile to get Lex's debauchery out of my mind. Although the thought of him bagging PG and Amanda Waller would be interesting....

-OK Smallville and me have this love hate thing going on, but I can forgive them this week because they gave me Roulette and she was smoking hot!

-Help me out here Marvel: Just how many spider based characters do we got here? Well it could be worse, we could have multi-colored Hulks....um we do? Cwap!

-Ryan Reynolds and crew...exiled from Australia. Damn Green Lantern will begin shooting again...eventually..I hope.

-I have to agree with Troy Brownfield from Newsarama on this one: Where is the Iron Man 2 teaser trailer already???

-Am I the only one who hated Where The Wild Things Are as a kid? O well you folks can go see that, I'll be checking out Astro Boy...even if it does have Nicholas Cage as Dr. Tenma.

Enjoy A-nerders and until next week: Keep Fantasizing!

Oh and one more thing....-Thumbs up to Portland, OR and Flemington, NJ for holding Wonder Woman Day on Sunday October 25th. The events and activities scheduled are to honor the Heroine of Truth and all proceeds go to charities that fight domestic abuse. Good Luck to you fine folks!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reminder-The Michaela Angela Davis Interview & Black Cinema 2009 with Cineastes Ms. Invisible & Sergio Mims!

Just a reminder folks, this evening at 7pm eastern, we will be interviewing fashionista, writer, activist and celebrity stylist, Michaela Angela Davis. During the tete`-a-tete´ we will touch on some of the controversial subjects of the day: the recent blackface photo spread in French Vogue; Chris Rock's Good Hair Documentary, the imagery of the Obama family and Davis' recent hosting of a speaking event entitled From Hottentot Venus to the White House: Black Women on Beauty and Bodies. And that's just the appetizer, folks!

For the second half of the show, we welcome Ms. Invisible (of Invisible Cinema) and Sergio Mims (of Ebony/Jet Online and Shadow and Act) to discuss the best and the worse of Black Cinema 2009 as well as what to look forward to for the following year. Feel free to call in at: 646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronedradio@yahoo.com.

Afronerd Radio Interviews Author, Pop Culture Critic & Fashionista, Michaela Angela Davis!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Is It Going To Take? 92 Year Old Woman Killed By Stray Bullet.....and the Shocker? Gang Violence! Again.....

I'm not going to write my usual treatise on this tragic story because it's really unnecessary. As the title of this entry suggests......will there ever be a line in the sand drawn that will act as the catalyst to galvanize our communities to make these events cease? It truly is a gift to make it to advanced age with one's faculties intact. In some respects such a feat is the flip side of the same coin-being killed as a youth before your life really begins and having your life taken as an elder, when your passing should have been far more respectful and with grace. Folks, we have to start valuing life, specifically Black life. Our detractors insist that we refrain from editorializing on these matters because somehow it's treasonous to communities of color. I think it's more accurate that the act of treason occurs when we make excuses and do nothing. For the specifics of this tragedy, check out this excerpt from the New York Times:

A Bronx teenager has been arrested on murder charges in the killing of Sadie Mitchell, a 92-year-old neighborhood fixture who was struck by a bullet not meant for her as she settled in for an evening watching television in her living room on Tuesday.

The suspect, Jamal Blair, 18, admitted during questioning by detectives that he fired a single bullet from a 9-millimeter pistol during a clash on Tuesday evening, involving about 10 people from two rival groups in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said.

The bullet went through a window in Mrs. Mitchell’s apartment, on East 224th Street, and struck her in the hip before puncturing her lungs, Mr. Kelly said. As she lay wounded, Mrs. Mitchell phoned a neighbor, Mary Fields, and said, “I’ve been shot.” Ms. Fields and her husband, John, rushed to Mrs. Mitchell’s home and found her sprawled on the living room floor, bleeding from the gunshot wound.

Mrs. Mitchell’s daughter, Shahron Williams Van Rooij, said that she felt “a small amount of comfort” after the police told her on Thursday that they had made an arrest, but that she realized there was a long judicial process ahead.

She said, “There will be no closure until I hear the words ‘guilty as charged,’ and that’s down the road.”

Ms. Van Rooij said she was buoyed by the fact that the suspect is legally an adult, rather than a child, so that the “full weight of the law” can be applied.

“The fact that this is an 18-year-old, rather than a 12-year-old — there’s a lot more clarity,” she said. She added: “I don’t care about sob stories, bad background, poverty — none of that. As an adult, you know the difference between right and wrong. You have a choice and he made the wrong choice.”

For the remainder of the Times piece, click on the link below:

18-Year-Old Charged With Murder in Death of Woman, 92

What boggles the mind, is that because of our blog's conservative leanings (which is a fragment of what this site is about), spurious criticisms of self-hatred are bandied about. But the real self-hatred that led to death of this victim is never mentioned. Time to wake up folk....time to wake up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Still Bill" Answers A Question Many Have Pondered For Decades......Where is Bill Withers?

Our readers are probably tired of my railing against the status quo pertaining to what passes for musicianship in our new millennium. The music scene has always been a corporatized medium but a modicum of talent was still required in order to see an artist's vision make it to wax and then airplay. I must also be honest and somewhat self-effacing as well-I've been musically spoiled. I grew up under the tutelage of parents that were true music aficionados, who played everything from Billie Holiday to Stevie Wonder. The great Bill Withers was also played in our household and perhaps a question for the ages arises.......what happened to the man? Well this latest documentary entitled, Still Bill attempts to answer that question. Withers, who had a string of souls stirring hits (Ain't No Sunshine, Lean on Me, Lovely Day, etc) was a musical staple during the 1970s and then just suddenly disappeared for thirty years. Unlike his contemporary Sly Stone, who also left the music scene for decades, Withers didn't appear to leave due to drugs or paranoia.....he just didn't have a fondness for the business of music. As an aside, I believe he was married to the lovely actress, Denise Nicholas (of Room 222, Blacula, the TV version of the In The Heat of the Night, etc) at one time. I readily admit that I'm very curious to see this film but another question comes up-who is the equivalent of Bill Withers today? Kanye West? Drake? I think I just threw up in my mouth....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just This Time, Check For The Comic Shoppe Tomorrow at 7pm (Next Week, It's Back 2 Tues!) Discussing Comix & More Of My Ruminations!

Please accept our apologies for Tuesday's Comic Shoppe cancellation but it just couldn't be avoided. So just for this week, expect the Comic Shoppe team to discuss all things pulp, tomorrow at 7pm ET (and we'll return to our normal Tuesday scheduling next week). Join Max, Dburt and Daryll on Wednesday as they bring analysis to the following topics: it appears that after a 30 plus year hiatus (hence the Bad News Bears clip, above), actor Jackie Earle Haley is on a tear. You knew him as Rorschach in this year's Watchmen film, then he tackles the Freddy Krueger role and now rumor has it that he will be Sinestro in the upcoming Green Lantern film; and if the Haley news wasn't enough, did Marvel snag Jude Law and Robert Dinero for Thor?; Adult Swim's Venture Bros. returns; our thoughts on the future of graphic novel themes and continuities (or can Batman remain 30 something for the next 100 years?) and lastly our favorite comic book reads from last week. Feel free to call in "live" with your comments and questions at 646-200-0104 or via email/IM-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.com. And remember....Excelsior with a double dose of Imperius Rex!

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

And in unrelated news, check out this clip (excuse the expletives) of the great hip hop icon and lyricist, Melle Mel discussing his impressions on the current state of rap music. I will give my impressions of his impressions in a few but based on some of the comments made in the site where this clip originates (worldstarhiphop.com), try not to age or as Mr. Starks stated on air recently, calling someone "old" is the new "you're a hater" rebuttal. Sad.

Afronerd Radio Preview-Writer, Pop Culture Critic & Fashionista, Michaela Angela Davis Pays A Visit To Our Show and Black Cinema '09 for the 2nd Half!

Remember to mark your calendars for this upcoming Sunday (October 25th) when noted writer and urbanista, Michaela Angela Davis stops by for what will undoubtedly be a festive and informative broadcast. Here's just a taste of Ms. Davis' resume: former Executive Fashion and Beauty Editor for Essence; founding Fashion Director for Vibe magazine and she is also a well renowned stylist to celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Prince, Diana Ross, Donald Trump and so on...and that's just the first half of Sunday's show. Stay tuned for the second half of the Afronerd Radio broadcast when we delve into the state of Black Cinema '09 and we will be joined by fellow bloggers, Sergio Mims of Shadow and Act and Ms. Invisible of Invisible Cinema. More info as the week ensues...

And speaking of Mr. Mims....check out his interview with the director and lead actress of the upcoming Precious film, Lee Daniels and Gabourey Sidibe:

Making Precious.

PS....guess who's on BlogTalkRadio? It's Dr. Cosby! Check it out:

The Cos on Blog Talk Radio!

What's The Difference Between Urban Fiction and Wearing Muddy Goggles? Not Much! Author Teri Woods' Guests Sue For $1B

Mr. Starks has stated on numerous occasions that mainstream American Whites have been quite adept at compartmentalizing Appalachian or "White trash" culture. In simpler terms, lower tier "cracker" mores are appropriately categorized and rarely promoted to the exclusion of centered Western humanistic pursuits. Perhaps due to the minority status of African-Americans (and people of color in general), ghetto culture has been mainstreamed as authentic Black culture. The reality is....there are gradations and aspects of the Black experience that have yet to be exposed or highlighted for popular societal consumption. The rise of urban fiction or street literature serves as an excellent example of how inner city pathology for the past two decades, superseded the promulgation of a mainstream middle class Black aesthetic. I implore our readers to pay close attention to what is being overtly promoted in many bookstore chains.

One can make the argument that the African-American literature section in these stores are preternaturally sparse, however "street lit" seems to dominate the scene in the same way that Hip Hop overshadows popular music. Now you're asking.....what does this have to do with Ms. Woods? In my estimation, the Progressive penchant for victimology and their obfuscation of inner city dysfunctionalism can muddy legitimate racial concerns. Case in point, the prospective Teri Woods' discrimination case. Woods, who is the author of such popular urban literary works as True to the Game and Alibi, is claiming that her Black guests were denied entrance to a book release party in her honor. But does her claim hold water in the backdrop of the type of literature that she writes? Check out this excerpt from the New York Daily News concerning the Woods matter:

Author Teri Woods says she was in tears after the club Greenhouse barred African-Americans she had invited to her book party. She claims white guests got in.

Author Teri Woods says she was in tears after the club Greenhouse barred African-Americans she had invited to her book party. She claims white guests got in.

It was supposed to be a big night for top urban fiction author Teri Woods, who had invited 175 people to party at a trendy SoHo nightclub to celebrate her new book.

But Woods ended up in tears when she found almost her entire guestlist being kept outside Greenhouse's notorious velvet rope.

Now a $1 billion class-action suit says the partygoers were denied entry because they were black.

"They should have just put up a sign that said, 'No Coloreds Allowed,'" fumed Kashan Robinson, 39, of the Bronx, one of the plaintiffs. "There was no reason for them to not allow us into that club, except for the color of our skin."

Club owner Barry Mullineaux declined to discuss what had happened to Woods' party beyond calling charges of racism "all pretty much bogus."

Woods has text messages she says he sent that night showing he was barring people based on appearance. "Everybody looking at me like this ur people Barry???" read a text message. "I couldn't let in 300lb girls."

Asked if he remembered sending the messages, Mullineaux said, "Not word for word."

Woods said, "I was clearly violated that night, and so were so many other people. ... All I know is it had something to do with 'your people' and 'fat.'"

A pioneer of the enormously successful urban or hip-hop fiction genre, Woods had planned a blowout on Aug. 6, complete with popular DJ Suss One, bottles of French Ciroc Vodka and gift bags with copies of her new book, "Alibi."

I lament the days when one could honestly maintain a strong righteous boot against the neck of bias and institutional racism. But the question remains-can disproportionate intraracial crime/violence and its propagandized promotion in media skew claims of discrimination? Let's see what our readers think and in the interim, click on the link below for the News piece in its entirety:

Blacks slap SoHo club Greenhouse with $1B bias suit following snub of author Teri Woods' guests

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another News Flash Blog Blast From The Comic Shoppe's Daryll B.-Waxing on Brother Voodoo, Bones, Stargate & More!

Hi once again Afronerd readers and contributors. I apologize for not turning in a blog last week. Between personal reasons and school work I got a little behind but I intend to rectify that with this week's blog. And yes I remember that I promised you folks my thoughts on Bones and Stargate: Universe too....matter of fact they are going to be a part of the theme of this blog.

Point of reference: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2009/10/five-for-thursday-thoughts-on-tcrs-five-biases/

I was on Comic Book Resources last night and came across Tom Bondurant's adaptation of Tom Spurgeon's five stickiest comic biases and wondered if I could use the same philosophies while approaching fantasy and science fiction TV shows / movies and why I am so fickle about likes and dislikes. So my thanks to these two enlightened reporters for this idea and I apologize in advance for most assuredly messing this up.

Tom Spurgeon's five stickiest comic biases were:

1. I don't covet the comics of my youth, I covet the comics from just before my youth.
2. Whether or not there are comics for kids, I still want comics to function as a pastime for a child.
3. I over-trust the serial.
4. I distrust a social component for comics.
5. I expect everything in comics to last forever.

Of course I am not dealing with comics this time so I am going to tweek it a little:

"I don't covet shows and movies of my youth, I covet those from just before my youth" - Guilty as charged and I will give you 2 perfect examples of this. At 9 years old I saw the original Night of the Living Dead. Black and white film, very little gore compared to the psychological thrills you received watching it and one of the most screwed up endings ever. I think this is the reason that I tend to hate on the torture porn and zombie flicks now. When the bar is set so high by Mr. George Romero that is kind of hard to surpass. By contrast I saw Superfriends as a kid and thought what kind of messed up thing is this. I was actually embarrassed to be a comic fan with the shoddy animations and characterizations. This actually scarred me for a bit until the 90's comic animation wave first hit.

"Whether or not there are shows for kids, I still want some of them to function as a pastime for a child." - Well I am of 2 minds of this. I freely admit that the original Star Trek series, Star Wars movies, Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica got me hooked into science fiction viewing and that there always should be gung-ho science fiction shows for kids to watch. But I can not ignore the grown up themes explored in shows like X-Files, Lost, Battlestar Galactica V.2, Fringe, and the new kid on the block, Stargate Universe that appeals to the adult in me. If a science fiction show can avoid falling into the trap of not knowing which audience to pander to (Heroes I looking at you!), then it has a good chance of finding its niche. Well that and avoiding getting the dreaded Fox Friday Night Slot (Sorry DBurt for your loss but I had to joke about this one).

"I over-trust the serial" - I am addicted to watching Heroes. I still watch Smallville every week. I think that shows my dedication to crap at least. However I counter this with Bones, Eureka, Supernatural, and Fringe; shows that have established deep characters with rich history; shows that haven't let me down....yet.

"I distrust a social component for Science Fiction" - O yeah. I guilty of this one too. When EVERYONE loves something in a genre I like, I tend to believe something is wrong with it. Great example of this is Lost. I loved the first 2 seasons. There was hardly a show in the seasons I found fault with. Enter the fake fans overcompensating for not jumping on when the show started, then acting like experts on not just that but ALL of fantasy works in the media, over the airwaves and on the net. After that I so avoided the third season like the plague, figuring it was the show corrupting me. I caught up later through DVDs and Hulu but that original joy is gone.

"I expect everything to last forever." - Yeah. You can't be a fantasy / science fiction fan and not imagine the show lasting forever. There might be an end to the show on the tube and the screen, but in our imaginations the story's adventures can last forever. Just avoid doing ill conceived fan-fiction stories, nothing good EVER comes from those. See Superman Returns as proof of that.

Books of the Week: If you haven't heard about Planetary by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday, I would recommend picking it up in trade paperbacks. Never have so many disparate Science Fiction / Fantasy / Comic Hero themes been thrown together and tossed on its ear. Its final issue #27 came out 2 weeks ago and it is awesomely mind trippy!

Last week also saw Doctor Voodoo Avenger of the Supernatural come out and let me say this: Doctor Strange fans and enemies have never seen a Sorcerer Supreme quite like this! Rick Remender is flying under the radar as a writer but gives his characters a bravado that is unmatched in comics today.

This week I would suggest Booster Gold #25. I know Russ Burlingame and his Gold Exchange over at Newsarama always talks Booster up, but it is well deserved. Dan Jurgens writes the hell out of the character and the scenes in this issue with Dick Grayson nearly put a tear in my eye. Most underrated book in the DC stable right now.

Matter of fact, this just gave me an idea for my next blog: Overrated / Underrated next week here in the fantasy blog. Folks you got an opinion? You think I am full of it? What books and shows do you think fit this criteria? Feel free to comment below or to afronerd or to orionben666@hotmail.com. I will reply to everyone I get. This is Daryll B signing out and until next time: Keep Fantasizing!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Afronerd Radio at 7pm ET This Sunday! Was Balloon Boy A Hoax-Time for Rev Al?, The Return of Blackface Minstrelsy!, Rush Loses & More!

Keeping it simple! Check out our regularly scheduled broadcast (7pm eastern) this evening as we discuss the following: A real The Day the Earth Stood Still moment when the nation was mesmerized over a saucer shaped alleged hoax; an analysis of the French Vogue and Harry Connick/Australian blackface incidents; our lament over Rush Limbaugh's loss at becoming a minority owner of the St. Louis Rams and a Louisiana judge refuses to follow the letter of the law and marry a couple over (inter) racial concerns! So you guys know what to do-call us "live" at 646-915-9620 or contact us via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo.com. And as always....Be there, Be square and always be aware. Imperius Rex!

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oops I Forgot To Mention....The New "It" Rock Act to Look Out For.......Introducing South Africa's BLK JKS!

I'm going to push the Black alternative til the cows come home or at least until Afronerd Radio gets its own channel on Sirius XM-I'm just sayin'.

Briefly...from the Boston Herald:

South African’s BLK JKS are not following anybody’s footsteps.

BLK JKS - pronounced Black Jacks - an alt-rock quartet from Johannesburg, don’t echo Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba or any of the South African greats who have hit it big across the Atlantic.

“We’ve never wanted to sound like someone else,” said BLK JKS bassist and singer Molefi Makananise, 34, from a tour stop in Minneapolis.

This is why BLK JKS can be found sharing bills with acts as different as the Dirty Projectors and Afro-pop star Femi Kuti. And it’s why the group has drawn raves in publications such as Rolling Stone and SPIN.

The foursome makes its local debut Sunday at T.T. the Bear’s, where the group marks the release of its first full-length album, “After Robots.”

It’s a disc that lives up to the band’s self-described style of “psychedelic dub rock,” with spacey reggae excursions peppering rock attacks, along with the occasional Afro-beat horn and South African township jive rhythms.

“We listened to pretty much everything,” Makananise said. “We grew up hearing so many sounds from everywhere in the world: reggae, jazz, gospel, African and world music, classical - and rock and pop music, of course. I didn’t listen to one particular kind of rock when I was growing up. I’d hear a song on the radio and think it was really cool - U2, the Police, so many different groups.”

When Makananise and drummer Tshepang Ramoba, both from Soweto, first teamed up with singer Lindani Buthelezi and guitarist Mpumi Mcata, childhood friends from the East Rand section of Johannesburg, the bassist didn’t know what to expect. He soon found out.

For the Herald piece in its entirety, click on the link below:


Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Alma Mater Is Disappointing Me! Hampton U Student Body Upset Over Crowning Of Non-Black Campus Queen

I may be having an inverted epiphany, a la Michelle Obama's jingoistic remark from last year's presidential campaign. For the first time in my life, I'm ashamed of my alma mater, Hampton University. More specifically, I'm ashamed at some of the student body. There appears to be a bit of a controversy brewing over the choice of this year's Miss Hampton U based on her ethnicity. Some reports are describing the young collegian as White, which I think makes for good copy but it is inaccurate. Other reports are describing Nikole Churchill (the student in question) as multi-racial, Guamanian and Italian. I am a very proud HBCU graduate and part of the reason I initially decided to obtain my undergraduate education at a predominantly African-American institution was for cultural reasons.

But the reality is these institutions are also gaining popularity with non-Black attendees as well. The reticence that some the students may be having toward Ms. Churchill can (and has..) conversely be used to object to our sitting president. Our nation previously had forty-three White presidents and yet we couldn't make room for one Commander-in-Chief of color? Just as it has not been explicitly stated that a U.S. President has to be Caucasian, there are no bylaws that affirm Miss Hampton needing to be Black. Now don't get me wrong, just as a yeshiva is entitled to promulgate Judaic principles, an overarching Black cultural standard should also be upheld for African-American colleges and universities. In the case of Churchill, matters became even more complicated when she drafted a letter to President Obama imploring him to intercede in this controversy. Here's more on this issue courtesy of today's NY Daily News:

Nikole Churchill, first non-black Hampton University pageant winner, apologizes for letter to Obama

The first nonblack winner of the annual Miss Hampton’s University scholarship pageant apologized for a letter she wrote to President Obama, criticizing her peers for not accepting her win.

Senior student Nikole Churchill, 22, beat out nine black students when she won the Miss Hampton University pageant Friday.

Hampton University is a traditionally a black school.

Touting her victory, she wrote a letter to President Obama calling her win, “the best night of my life.”

She added that her crowning “was not widely accepted” on campus “because the color of my skin.” She wrote, “I am not African-American”

In the letter she asked Obama to come speak at Hampton University “so that my fellow Hamptonians can stop focusing so much on the color of my skin and doubting my abilities to represent, but rather be proud of the changes our nation is making towards accepting diversity.”

Her win and subsequent letter ignited a fire of debate around campus.

Executive pageant director Shelia Maye said Churchill’s win is a milestone and is shocked at the polarized debate around the issue, according to the Daily Press.

"We have all kinds of people on our campus, we are not in a cocoon," she said. "As far as I'm concerned we need to get her ready to serve HU and to move on and represent us at Miss Virginia."

Other students complained that she doesn’t attend the main campus and isn’t black.

"They're saying that people don't know who she is, people don't even see her, so how can she represent us if she's not even from the main campus?" said journalism sophomore Juan Diasgranados.

On Tuesday, Churchill issued a statement apologizing to the university for the wording of the letter.

What do our faithful readers/supporters think about this latest controversy? If other ethnicities are attending HBCUs, shouldn't they expect parity? And is this a form of discrimination not too dissimilar to what White colleges (and pageants, for that matter) imposed on African-Americans in past years? Again, a quarter (adjusted for inflation) for your thoughts....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In The Immortal Words Of One Of Our Greatest Legal Minds-Let's Not Rush (Limbaugh) to Judgment! Controversial Radio Jock Denied NFL Team Purchase!

Let me say from the beginning that not all Republicans think alike! In spite of my political leanings, I am not a supporter of the right wing radio host, Rush Limbaugh. I am not an apologist for him or his "on air" comments. If my memory serves me correctly, I was quite adamant about Michael Steele's capitulation to Rush earlier this year regarding the hoopla over Limbaugh being an entertainer or leader of the Republican Party. Now the latest dust up (which has been averted) dealt with Limbaugh attempting to become a minority owner of the St. Louis Rams football franchise. Due to a history of racially charged remarks made by Limbaugh over the years, a cadre of Black players threatened to not play for the Rams if the the talk show host obtained approval to become a part owner.

I guess I have become indifferent to these matters because I have yet to see athletes of color galvanize with the same fervor when their compatriots are involved in behavioral/criminal missteps. But when a racial element gets added to this type of elixir....well, things start to change. I have talked about this phenomenon in the larger context of "pathology versus race" within communities of color in previous diatribes and entries. Well Rush lost his bid, due in part to the same cast of characters-Reverends Jackson and Sharpton. Am I looking at this wrong? If so, enlighten me....

And with typical Limbaugh aplomb, he has some words on this defeat, courtesy of the Kansas City Star:

Limbaugh lashes back after being dumped by Rams group

Radio personality Rush Limbaugh assigned blame Thursday after seeing his hopes for owning an NFL team dashed.

The list of those responsible includes President Obama, NFL union leader DeMaurice Smith, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the media.

Conspicuously missing from the list was Limbaugh himself.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Colts owner Jim Irsay each expressed misgivings this week at a leaguewide meeting about Limbaugh’s involvement with a group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams.

Goodell said Limbaugh had made “polarizing” comments, and Irsay vowed to vote against him. On Wednesday, Dave Checketts, who is organizing the bid, said Limbaugh had been dropped from the group.

According to transcripts posted on his Web site, in 2007 Limbaugh said: “The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”

In 2003, he was forced to resign from ESPN’s Sunday night football broadcast after saying of the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb: “I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.”

“The league has 78 percent African-American players,” said Dan Lebowitz, executive director of the Center for Sports and Society at Northeastern University. “Do you bring in someone who has made racist statements to own a team that’s largely made up of players the owner has made slurring statements about?”

On his syndicated show Thursday, Limbaugh said he was approached by Checketts, the St. Louis Blues chairman, earlier this year about participating in a Rams bid. Checketts assured him his involvement as a minority investor had been vetted by the NFL, he said.

“I said to him at this meeting, ‘Are you aware of the firestorm?’ He said ‘We wouldn’t have approached you if we hadn’t taken care of that,’ ” said Limbaugh, a conservative favorite who is reviled by many liberals.

Limbaugh added that Checketts had told him his involvement had been cleared at the “highest levels of the NFL.”

OK This Isn't News......Maybe It's An Excuse for a Rant.....John Mayer vs Huff Post vs MediaTakeout vs CNN vs Human Decency!

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Unfortunately, in life one may find themselves having to pay a visit to the projects or as some colloquially refer to as the PRO-jects. A cyber equivalent would be a trip to blogs such as Bossip, Worldstarhiphop and perhaps one of the more salacious sites, Mediatakeout.com. Takeout recently reported that pop star/guitarist, John Mayer while twittering, slammed the politically Progressive blog, The Huffington Post as being the “white” Mediatakeout. And the irony is that the writers at Takeout couldn’t tell if Mayer’s remarks were disparaging or complimentary. As much as I can appreciate the context of Mayer’s tweet, The Huffington Post really should not be compared to the folks at Mediatakeout.

For instance, the Jon Stewart clip (above) which I retrieved from the Post, encapsulates a biting commentary on CNN’s fact checking abilities. I doubt that Mediatakeout would cover such a story or if they did, it would be lost in the muck of yellow journalistic mud that the blog overwhelmingly wades in. But my main critique centers on the vituperative atmosphere that these sites create in the overall promotion of subcultural ghettocentric mores. Do you need examples of Takeout’s propagandized lower tier jibes?

If you visit the site, you will undoubtedly see references to interracial dating as doing the “the swirl” or constant emphasis on racial descriptions purely for the sake of prurient interest. I’m not sure of the purpose or mantra for Takeout but much like a Chris Rock skit, African-American culture takes a step backward when the promotion of urban malaise is at the forefront. So in response to the great Mr. John Mayer……MediaTakout could only wish to be The Huffington Post-Black edition.

I Guess My Definition Of Blackness is A Little Different Than Some Folk....Ok A Little Funkier.......Q-Tip Gets A Visit From A Friend...

Monday, October 12, 2009

For Those Unaffected By The Recession........Introducing The Water Car.....And Oh Yeah...It's Real!

First off, an amphibious car has been around for close to a century and has been depicted in cinema for a number of decades as well (thank you, Mr. Bond!) but this supercar takes the cake! Wow...I just had to share this with our readers. And then there's the company website:


Back To Reality & Back To The Hate-A Georgia Restaurant Owner, Healthcare & The N-Word.....Again

I must say that I'm not shocked that we find yet another Southern racist exclaiming his hatred for the president under the guise of dissatisfaction with Obama's healthcare initiatives. And according to some of our detractors, we're just not angry enough when it comes to these matters....allegedly. Patrick Lanzo, a Georgia restaurant owner is using the "N-word" expletive on a sign outside his establishment objecting President Obama's health care plan. The sign in question reads, "Obama's plan for health care - Nigger rig it," Atlanta CBS affiliate WGCL reported. It's not that Mr. Starks and I are not perturbed about these kind of stories, it's just that they are of a bygone era. One can no longer be surprised or deterred by folks that are afflicted with the mental disorder of racism. And matters become skewed when "generation Y" will vehemently defend their right to use the n-word with reckless abandon allowing lower-tier Whites like Lanzo in the video clip a social/legal "excuse" to be vulgar.

The irony is, one can easily deduce that Lanzo had to be instructed to be angry about healthcare. Hillary Clinton and then Senator Obama debated the issue of nationalized healthcare for a year prior to the election and either candidate would have pursued this agenda during their respective presidency. As always, to keep it succinct....Mr. Lanzo, your president is African-American-get over it already! You should be honest and just remove the word "healthcare" from your sign. It's not racist to disagree with the president regarding a policy issue but when you mix political distrust with racial prejudice, your argument not only falls on deaf ears but gets lost in the muck. What say you? Are you shocked, disappointed or just tired of this foolishness?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Afronerd Radio IsTaking A Break But We'll Be Back (Like the "Governator") Next Sunday......Meanwhile, Some Ruminations...

We're just taking break this Sunday folks but Afronerd Radio will return at our regularly scheduled time next week. But don't forget the team at The Comic Shoppe this Tuesday to get your weekly dose of pulp fiction, pop culture and fantasy analyses. Now on to some of the things that have been occupying my thoughts as of late. Kudos, salutations, crumpets and a "right on!" to President Obama for receiving such a noteworthy and prestigious award as the Nobel Prize. I make no bones about being an "Obamacan" the portmanteau for a Republican that supports our current POTUS, however my allegiance has little do with political persuasion. Of course, I would prefer that President Obama leaned a bit more to the right on the ideological scale, but the necessity of his historical presidency for its inspirational attributes as it pertains to people of color can not be discounted.

But back to the matter at hand-as expected, the de facto conservative talking heads have made it clear that not only was President Obama not deserving of the award but that his win somehow diminishes its importance and/or relevance. The reality is.... the previous administration was so inexplicably inept and ruinous toward global diplomatic relations, America's voting in a Black person assuages this international (Europe, more specifically) dissatisfaction and therefore explains Obama's win. Furthermore, the conservatives are being disingenuous in railing against the time frame that the Obama administration has been existence relative to the Nobel win and yet 10 months is supposed to be long enough to solve two wars,immigration, terrorism, Iranian/Korean nuclear encroachment, an unprecedented financial meltdown and an array of other issues that presently plague our country. You see....I can critique Republicans! That's the difference between having a political bent and being an outright ideologue. Next time, I'll talk about the progressives' putting our economy on layaway til the close of this century....

And now for pop culture concerns, I'm always complaining about the dearth of real musical talent with Black cultural sensibilities as it is currently presented for public consumption. I think a capitulation is in order. It really is a matter of exposure and fighting that vaunted monolithic "box" that Black artistic expression is forced to fit into. I implore our readers to start rummaging through the cyber aisles of Okayplayer.com and Afropunk.com. Case in point, check out some more footage from this past summer's Afropunk music festival, held on the Planet Brooklyn:

And then there are those the NY Times referred to as "blipsters," the frankenword nomenclature for Black hipsters. Again, Black folks rock, skate, ride BMX bikes, surf, purchase, collect and write graphic novels, preside over nations....and yet we continue to get culturally marginalized. It stops now! More from the '09 Afropunk festival....

And then there's the gentleman that started it all...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Can We All Get Along? Not On A San Francisco Metro, I Guess-Cougars (You Know, I'm Kidding!) Fight on Bus!

My comments in a few....suffice it to say that George Orwell's vision has come to fruition.

Okay, I'm back and this incident, in my estimation can be chalked up to three things:

1) over(t) emotionalism

2) a lack of sophistication (aka adherence to lower tier values)

3) under-education

** And perhaps an honorable mention-the collision of mixed racial signals and/or animus.

The three above mentioned frailties were exhibited by both combatants. You just can't "step" to a stranger in our current times as it might be last moment on earth. Again, you're viewing two older women that should have simply known better. The unfortunate part of this tale is that this type of aggression occurs everyday for the public's entertainment, courtesy of a camera phone and Youtube's uploading capabilities. It appears that Mr. King's simplistic statement almost two decades ago still rings true-"Can we all get along?"

And to calm things down a bit-switching gears, has anyone seen the film, 9 yet? As I've stated before this blog is an amalgam of sorts-pop culture, gaming, politics, comics, alternative music...you name it. Any opinions on Tim Burton's latest celluloid effort?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Two Things I'm Not Surprised About.......1) That Harry Connick, Jr is a Class Act and 2) We Still Have Minstrelsy in 2009!

It appears the latest bit of controversy to hit the net involves noted Jazz vocalist and actor, Harry Connick, Jr.'s recent visit to the land down under-Australia. As the video above encapsulates, Mr. Connick was a guest judge on the long running and popular Aussie variety show, Hey Hey, It's Saturday Night (although it aired on Wednesday...go figure). One would assume that this was pretty routine fare for Connick, who has appeared on the show previously. However, much to his chagrin, the New Orleans native was subject to a new millennium Blackface routine intended to parody a classic Jacksons' performance. For the record, I always respected Connick as an artist, not so much for his neo-Sinatra jazz pop stylings but more for his pedigree as a protege of the late great Jazz icon, Eubie Blake. Therefore it's not a surprise that Mr. Connick took umbrage with this minstrel performance by emphatically denouncing the "Jackson Jive" during the taping of the broadcast. Here's more, courtesy of the New York Times:

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- An Australian variety show host has apologized for a skit in which singers parodying the Jackson Five performed in blackface.

American singer and actor Harry Connick Jr., who was serving as a guest judge on Wednesday night's ''Hey Hey It's Saturday,'' was visibly shocked by the skit, in which four men with afro wigs and blackface sang and danced behind a Michael Jackson impersonator wearing white makeup.

Connick, 42, gave the performance a zero score and told them that if it had been done in the United States it would have been pulled off the air.

Blackface was a traditional trope of minstrel shows in the U.S. that dates to the 19th century. Whites playing stock black characters -- usually offensive stereotypes meant to demean -- rubbed coal, grease or shoe polish on their faces. Blackface performances are not common in Australia.

Public reaction to the ''Hey Hey'' performance in online forums was mixed. Some Australians said they were embarrassed such a racist sketch had been broadcast, while others said detractors were too politically correct and that the skit was funny.

Michael Jackson died June 25 at age 50.

At a news conference on other issues Thursday morning, opposition politician Helen Coonan labeled the skit ''disgusting.''

Host Daryl Somers apologized to Connick at the end of the live show.

''I know that to your countrymen, that's an insult to have a blackface routine like that on the show, so I do apologize to you,'' Somers said.

Connick said he would not have appeared on the show if he'd known about the skit.

''I just want to say, on behalf of my country, I know it was done humorously, but we've spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons, that when we see something like that we take it really to heart,'' he told Somers after his apology.

Anand Deva, the frontman of the ''Jackson Jive'' act, said it was not meant to cause offense but added he would not have performed it in the United States.

''Hey Hey'' ran for 27 years starting in 1971. The ''Jackson Jive'' group first appeared on the show 20 years ago and were invited back to reprise their roles during the second of two reunion shows for the once-popular program.

Kudos to Mr. Connick for standing up against minstrelsy, which as one can see has not gone away, reaching worldwide proportions. Now, if we can only route out the coonery on display among some of the commercial hip hop artists there might be hope for this generation after all......crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

And While We're Talking About Mr. Rock......I'm Sure He Has A New "Friend" After All-His Attorney!.....He Just Got Sued!

Well I'm sure someone who has been involved in the entertainment/filmmaking business for as long as Chris Rock should be keenly aware that getting sued in matters of intellectual property is par for the course. Pay close attention to the clip above. It is the handiwork of filmmaker, Regina Kimball who allegedly showed her 2005 doc, My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage, to Mr. Rock on the set of his sitcom Everyone Hates Chris two years ago. Now that Rock's Good Hair documentary is on the verge of release, he is being sued by Ms. Kimball (for 5 million reasons) for allegedly taking her idea. I'm not sure if her suit has any weight-is doing another Black hair documentary off limits? I'm actually curious about both films, which I suspect is the ultimate objective. What say you? Any chance that Rock stole the concept or is the topic to broad to pigeonhole?

Oh and while you ponder Rock's legal dilemma, listen to the smooth sounds from one of my favorite female singers, Ms. Chaka Khan performing a A Night in Tunisia.... Beyonce and Keyshia Cole, be damned:

Monday, October 05, 2009

Why Didn't I See This Coming........"My Black Friend"....The Movie! Coming To a Theater Near You, Starring Chris Rock

Ironically, almost a year to this day, I briefly noted that in a GQ magazine article, writer Devin Friedman who is White decided to put pen to pad detailing his experiences in trying to diversify his friendship scene. In other words, he was looking for friends of color. I wasn't sure what to think about his quest only that so much thought should not be put into color coding the need for companionship. Shouldn't friendship just be a natural occurrence among like-minded folks, irrespective of ethnicity? Well Mr. Friedman's article has just been greenlighted for a major motion picture, starring Good Hair's Chris Rock. Here's more info, courtesy of Comingsoon.net:

Will You Be Chris Rock's Black Friend?

Lionsgate and Harpo Films, Inc. announced today that they will partner to develop the film Will You Be My Black Friend?, starring Chris Rock (the upcoming Good Hair, I Think I Love My Wife, "The Chris Rock Show").

The project is based on a magazine article of the same name written by GQ senior correspondent Devin Friedman. Published in the magazine's November 2008 edition, "Will You Be My Black Friend?" chronicles Friedman's unorthodox and admittedly self-conscious quest to make "black friends." The producers of Will You Be My Black Friend? are Oprah Winfrey, Kate Forte, President of Harpo Films, and Carla Gardini, Senior Vice President, Production of Harpo Films. Lionsgate will distribute worldwide. The announcement was jointly made today by Joe Drake, Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President, Mike Paseornek, Lionsgate President of Motion Picture Production and Harpo Films' Forte.

The studio describes the film as follows:

Inspired by a true story, a white, married journalist living in Manhattan comes to the unnerving realization one night at a cocktail party that virtually his entire social circle is white. Indeed his entire existence has become steeped in a certain style of "whiteness": a rarefied industry (publishing); a weekend house in the Catskills; yoga; ambient music; and seasonal gourmet cooking. With help of the internet, a "white guy" sets off on a humorous journey to make "black friends," only to discover that regardless of race, the older you get, the harder it is to make friends.

I'll ask today what I asked before when this was just an article and not a prospective film.....is the idea of cross-racial friendships so novel and unusual that it requires the celluloid treatment? I can predict the deadpan cliches and awkward slights the film is undoubtedly going to use before the first trailer hits Youtube. What are your thoughts? Is this necessary and does it have the slightest chance of being funny?

Switching Gears-Check Out The Comic Shoppe Tues at 7pm ET-Discussing Comic Book Industry Pet Peeves, Smallville, Stargate U, Ghost Rider 2-? & More!

Let's keep it cogent, simple and succinct, shall we? Join Daryll, Max and yours truly tomorrow at 7pm ET as we discuss the following: the Comic Shoppe team's personal opinions on the state of the fantasy/comic book industry-i.e. our "pet peeves" and changes we would like to see; impressions of Smallville's 9th (and last?) and Stargate: Universe's first seasons; Ghost Rider 2's David Goyer...could this prospective sequel actually turn out to be good?; The Phantom returns in the form of SYFY television and of course, we'll chop it up concerning our favorite graphic novels from the previous week. Feel free to call us "live" at 646-200-0104 or via email/Im-thecomicshoppe@yahoo.com.

The Comic Shoppe's Week in Review

Oh and speaking of remakes, has anyone checked out the new Nightmare On Elm Street trailer? This time The Watchmen's Jackie Earle Haley takes takes on the mantle...er, glove:

This Fall Season's Pulp Fiction Synopsis From The Comic Shoppe's Daryll B

Ah tis the end of the weekend once again Afronerd readers and that means I, Daryll B., am back with some fantasy views for you to ponder if you are so inclined.

Last week was a big week in terms of science fiction shows premiering, ending and continuing for the masses. Today, I will give you views on each as only I can with snark and a little fun. A warning though, I don't try to tell you what to watch because ultimately we are each our own person. What you like or what you dislike ultimately is your own decision. This goes with any other forms of media and entertainment also. So enjoy...

The Simpsons: Everyman was an interesting take on comic book movies and behind the scenes foolishness revolving around, what else, Homer Simpson. Comic Book Guy's property was a fun idea and actually a type of hero I also imagined to be while younger but in the end the comedy struck close to home with certain comic book movie failures that all fans know. One thing of note, Bart's torture of C.B.G in the beginning was classic and I know every comic book fan has felt that type of frustration talking to a supposed 'expert' before.

Cleveland Show: Um...next. And people though McFarlane was stretching jokes thin with American Dad? WOW

Family Guy: The Multiverse was a good episode but as with all things Family Guy, the jokes weren't consistent. The Disney, Robot Chicken, and Dogverse gags were the best of the lot. The problem I am finding with F.G nowadays is that all the characters have become unlikeable to me from one degree or another.

American Dad: Great idea for a parody of Born On The Fourth Of July but as always the jokes fell a lil flat...if torture, drug use, and cruelty to animals could be considered good joke material that is.

Heroes: I trying, I swear I trying to enjoy this but wow I am hating most of these characters right now. Those who have heard The Comic Shoppe know how much I loved this show but right now I find myself rooting for Sylar to win in the end. Although I will say the deaf woman with the Dazzler / Clarion powers will be intriguing to watch and I am wondering how low Matt will sink. Overall, I am looking at the calendar wondering when Chuck's season will begin.

Trauma: Judging on the reactions of real life EMTs, this was pure fantasy schlock. All you need to know was two attendants, getting their ambulance 'rocking' in a busy city section, as the disaster begins. My 1st candidate to be canceled early.

Flashforward: Consider me swept up in the tide of this mystery although my one qualm about this is: if the whole world blacked out for as long as they say, shouldn't there be a whole bunch more people dead? After all human beings are dumb when it comes to handling danger as we have all witnessed at one time or another. This truly does have a Lost vibe to it...

Supernatural: Amazing how the CW can get this show so right while destroying an easy property that I will get to later. People who dismissed this early as a 'Buffy' clone need to check it out again. This is Route 666 on LSD.

Dollhouse: Hmmm this Ballard / Echo / Victor dynamic will bear watching all season but as always with any Joss Wheldon project, just as I was ready to go head over heels in love for this show, the most interesting character in the show for me leaves...maybe for good. What the hell, Joss???

Warehouse 13: Double crosses, turmoil, death (maybe?) and a great cliffhanger to end the premiere season on. This fun combination of Friday The 13th the TV Series and X-Files with a touch of The Lost Room thrown in, has grown on me. The chemistry of the leads is unmistakeably clear and heck sign CCH Pounder to be Amanda Waller in the JLA Movie franchise now!!! She can whip Sam Jackson's Nick Fury from pillar to post.

Smallville: Clark's a jerk, Chloe is whiny, Lois is well lois and the mystery is not really that interesting. Amazing how far a show can stray from the road after a lead leaves but damn they need Michael Rosenbaum back. STAT! All you need to know is what I say next....Green Arrow in a fight club. Yeah I know the rule, 1st rule of fight club is we don't speak of fight club...BLAH!

Eureka: Best comedrama on TV today. I know folks love Curb, and Entourage on HBO and Weeds and Californification on Showtime but for me hands down, the wacky geniuses in this little small town are awesome. I know with a series like this folks will come and go but week in week out it'll make you think.

Book of the Week: Astro City Astra Special #1: Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson continue to craft the best superhero universe in comics today (yep I said it) and answer the question: how does a boyfriend cope with a superhero girlfriend who has ex-boyfriends that are heroes? And that was only a small part of this issue. Can it be possible that these 2 creators are still underrated?

Next week I'll hit you with Bones and Stargate Universe premieres along with an interesting look at a couple of properties that are ready made for TV (can you say Walking Dead?) Any questions or comments? Feel free to leave it here or at my e-mail orionben666@hotmail.com. Until next week, Keep Dreaming folks!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Just Something Way Cool & Gives New Meaning to "Motherboard"-A Miniature Living Room in a PC!

You would be amazed what one can find while taking a "cyberwalk" through the many gadget oriented sites that the net has to offer. While perusing the tech/gadget blog, Gizmodo.com, I cam across a brief anecdote about a Russian "modster" (not to be confused with mobster) that modified the internal workings of his CPU in the likeness of a common living room. Of course, the original author of this story was impressed with the modification but also (jokingly-?) thought that so much detail was imparted on this project that either the PC-enthused artist was a genius or a serial killer. I think sometimes you just have to chalk it up to creativity trumping madness.....this time. Here's a closer view of this CPU living room:

And more a detailed description of the room, courtesy of Gizmodo.com:

There's a painstaking amount of detail inside the scene, including intricate housewares such as a vase, flowers, the newspaper, and a gumball machine (?!). Anyone with this much time on their hands must also spend hours thinking of the perfect way to get away with murder.

But I do love how the circuit board nearly blends in as wallpaper if you don't pay close attention. I'd like to see this turn into a trend...I think.

Oh and then there's a PC case mod with Mr. Starks in mind:

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review-Discussions on "Ghetto" Media, Nas' Open Letter, Kevin Powell vs Obama & More! Sun at 7pm ET!

View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

I suspect that fellow Afronerd Avengers member, Mr. Starks will be chomping at the bit to mix it up with our supporters (and detractors) during tomorrow's broadcast as we bring some analysis to the following issues: a continuation of last week's discussion on the Lee Daniels/Oprah/Tyler Perry film, Precious (hence the term Ghetto media); Mr. Starks' Tales of Suspense segment; a discussion on hip hop artist, Nas' open letter (video, above) to "young warriors" post the Chicago gang violence incident; and as a "bookend" to the Chicago fatality, our thoughts on scribe/politico and former MTV personality, Kevin Powell's article on Obama, the Olympic committee and their connection to the gang related death and lastly, brief mention that the disgusting Human Centipede film. So join us at 7pm tomorrow and feel free to call us "live" at-646-915-9620 or via email/IM-afronerdradio@yahoo.com And remember in the immortal words of the great Morris E. Day...."Let's have some as%$es wigglin'... I want some perfection!"

Afronerd Radio's Week in Review

Friday, October 02, 2009

Legendary New York HipHop DJ Mr. Magic has died

East coast hiphop heads, particularly NY cats, understand the importance of Mr. Magic to hiphop culture. He was a pioneer and a legend. RIP Mr. Magic.
...Folks have got to stay on top of their health..

By Jayson Rodriguez

"Every Saturday 'Rap Attack,' Mr. Magic, Marley Marl ..." — Notorious B.I.G., "Juicy"

Biggie immortalized him in rhyme, but by the time the Brooklyn MC name-checked Mr. Magic on 1994's Ready to Die, the DJ was already a living legend. It was confirmed today that Mr. Magic passed away after suffering a heart attack. (At press time it was unknown how old he was.)

Magic, born John Rivas, was a pioneer in hip-hop and made his mark as the first DJ to host a mixshow hour on commercial radio, which was revolutionary in the early 1980s but as common as a rap CD with a "Parental Advisory" sticker on it today. Back in 1982 when Mr. Magic, along with Marley Marl as his DJ and Tyrone "Fly Ty" Williams as co-producer, kick-started "Rap Attack," the program's launch was arguably as significant to music history as when the Moonman planted the MTV flag in outer space.

"Rap Attack" was a cultural touchstone fondly remembered by countless rappers, breakdancers, journalists and fans who were transfixed by the early sounds of hip-hop transmitted through their speakers by Mr. Magic.

Aside from the musical nods ("Juicy" and Whodini's "Magic's Wand"), Magic was also known for his part in the watershed battle between the Juice Crew — founded by Marley Marl and featuring Big Daddy Kane, Craig G. and Kool G Rap — and KRS-One's Boogie Down Productions.

The Bronx collective allegedly first heard the Juice Crew's MC Shan track "The Bridge," an ode thought to be proclaiming hip-hop's start in Queens, while pushing their demo to Magic. After feeling snubbed by Magic, who was affiliated with the Juice Crew, BDP fired back with the classic tracks "The Bridge is Over" and "South Bronx." The tracks were spun heavily by Magic rival Red Alert, fueling the memorable "Bridge Wars" that lasted throughout the '80s.

In the '90s, tensions between the camps subsided and Mr. Magic began receiving acclaim as DJs like Funkmaster Flex ascended from mixshow spinners into prime-time talents.

This afternoon, Hot 97's Mister Cee dedicated his mixshow hour to Mr. Magic's memory, and on Twitter thousands of condolences have been posted by everyone from Talib Kweli to Styles P.

DJ Premier perhaps said it best when he blogged about the mixshow icon.

"He was known for his direct and sarcastic attitude on the air," he wrote. "And every artist wanted his approval when it came to breaking new records."

He was hip-hop's Walter Cronkite and a respected voice gone far too soon. May his wand rest in peace.

Damn......Submitting This For Your Approval For Completely Gratuitous Reasons (Ms. Ford!!) Oh and Chris Rock Is Cool Too-The Good Hair Screening!

For the sake of full disclosure, I've discussed my thoughts on Chris Rock's upcoming documentary, Good Hair in a previous entry. Some of our readers (or is it detractors) believe that I take great joy in harping on some of the more dysfunctional elements of the African-American community-this couldn't be further from the truth. It is quite taxing to elucidate on cultural angst such as the insecurity attached to Africoid hair and features. I understand the psychological (and physiological) damage that was done to people of color for greater than three centuries and that the hair obsession is just an outgrowth of the damage-but when does it stop as we are now squarely in a new millennium? I guess all I can do about Rock's film is shrug my shoulders because this aforementioned angst is on display for the world to see....again and I guess the overarching conundrum is...when does the healing begin? In the interim, can we all agree that Melyssa Ford is gorgeous? Can anyone tell her otherwise or are her hair issues that debilitating?